This Zero Waste Life

Klean Kanteen Metal Straw Market Bag

Or an attempt at zero waste life.

I haven't talked about this but the past months have been all about trying to lessen my waste, quite literally. I used to not give sh*t about what I put into the bins  though I did have some form of fulfilment when I threw away a lot clutter. I do feel remorse, but in the Philippines, and until later, it wasn't very easy to donate stuff. I had started to think harder that just because we put away waste into bins, they don't stop becoming our responsibility. Plastic gets dumped into landfills and harmful chemicals seep into the waterways. These bother me all the time - especially when I see how much higher buildings become, therefore accelerating the amount of trash each square meter of land contributes to this world. Some people are jaded about this matter already, saying that there's no way to stop big companies from producing wasteful packaging the Earth cannot process. I beg to differ -- if I lessen my own waste, and influence one person a day to do the same, the world will have less waste to keep.

I'd say I'm still pretty far from not really producing waste in my daily life, and unless you're living alone, your household pretty much influences your whole life. If you're a mom with kids, it might be harder to wean kids, or hard to choose cloth diapers over the convenience of regular diapers but again, BABY STEPS. Below are some of the small steps I've taken towards this journey. I'm so so far away but happy to report that just basing on how frequent we empty our garbage bins, which have become really infrequent now, I'd say it's been a good journey so far.

  1. Purchase and bring with me a metal straw and steel utensils. This has been one of the first things I've always done, especially I was never a fan of plastic spoons and forks. The straw I recently got a lot from Lazada. I've always had a Klean Kanteen, too, so I don't think I contributed a lot to bottled water waste. Butters has his own water bottle, too. Above utensils are from Shop A La Fourchette. I also recently started using a KeepCup. Goes to say that the first commandment of a zero waste lifestyle is to refuse the plastic in the first place.
  2. Started using a Menstrual Cup. I use one from Diva Cup, I got it from Target for $30, and I've gotten this back in 2015. It took me 2 years to embrace the whole idea, since the first time I used it, I had to ask for help in removing it. Now I'm very much used to it, and in face have been using it cycle on cycle. I have consulted my OB too, and she says that it has very little risk of giving TSS (Toxic Shock). As someone who's very OC with cleanliness, I just boil mine, the second one being from Sinaya Cup, before and after use.

3. Bringing an eco bag everywhere. This is something I've been doing for years but it took me a while to embrace the idea of bringing one with me all the time, especially when doing groceries because let's face it, it's not exactly the most glamorous nor chic thing. Still, I've embraced this whole eco bag thing, reusing what I have and not getting more. 

4. Started making eco bricks. Eco bricking should not be the first resort though, as eco bricks only provide a solution to unavoidable plastic consumption. I hate making eco bricks but thankful that some unavoidable plastics at least have a second purpose.

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5. Washed and dried plastic bottles for donation. Certain organizations like Robinsons, Glorietta and SM collect plastic and other waste every 1st Friday/Saturday of the month. Please check their respective pages for details.

6. This is the hardest, but I'm slowly trying to replace hygiene items with more sustainable options. For example, at home I use a sonic toothbrush which replaceable part is just the bristles. At work, I do have the disposable toothbrushes, which unfortunately, I've come to appreciate how amazing their bristles are. But since I'd have to toss it after 3 months, I am now shifting to bamboo toothbrushes which I got from Masungi Georeserve. I also started to use my Lush Shampoo Bar in Honey I Washed the Kids and OMG, on top of it doesn't come in a bottle, it smells so good and it is actually soft on the hair. I have some local bars on standby from Eco Bar PH, (PHP 150/shampoo and PHP180/conditioner) can't wait to use them, too!

7. I stay offline and un-needing of electricity as much as I can. Or use less paper. I try to stick to the books I've already bought, and the items I already have to entertain myself. Thankful for this zero waste life that weans me away from shopping.

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8. Buy container-less refills as much as I can. Thankfully this has been long existing for coffee beans in the metro like Rustan's, SM and Market Market. Really hope that this kind of model will exist for skincare and other consumable products, too. For my coffee at work, I finally got my refillable pods for my Nespresso (FINALLY!) so I can bring ground beans to work. I also try to do cold brew at home as much as I can.

Coffee Beans Refillable

9. Try to use beeswax wraps instead of cling wrap as much as I can. I got my set from Daniela Calumba.

In general, I think the zero waste lifestyle demands time and energy and takes away the efficiency of many things we've been accustomed to. It's important to start small though and contribute to the bigger cause. Do you have a zero waste journey too? Joining a community helps, if you haven't yet!